JCB is aiming to set a new land speed record for diesel vehicles with a super sleek streamliner car to be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, the fastest man on Earth. The record attempt will take place on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during August 2006.
Powering the stunning, nine metre long JCB DIESELMAX car are two JCB444 diesel engines, developed to produce 750bhp each, five times the power needed to drive a JCB backhoe loader, and now the world’s most powerful diesel engine per litre.
Leading the project, codenamed, H1, is Dr. Tim Leverton, JCB Group Engineering Director, who put together a world-class design team with extensive experience of Formula One, Le Mans, advanced diesel technology and transmissions.
Mentor to the project has been Richard Noble, the former land speed record holder, who encouraged the JCB team to aim for 300 mph; the existing record stands at 235.756mph.
Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman of privately owned JCB, is very clear why he wanted to build a JCB record-breaker: "I am passionate about the importance of engineering excellence to Britain and I see using the JCB engine for this record attempt as a fantastic way of showcasing what British engineers can do. The JCB444 has been acknowledged as a remarkable piece of engineering, and this programme to build the world’s fastest diesel-powered automobile is precisely the sort of technical challenge that we should rise to."
Green, who set the first-ever supersonic world land speed record at 763.035 mph in ThrustSSC on the Black Rock Desert on 15 October 1997, is thrilled to have been given another opportunity to enter the record books. He said: "We will be following in the tradition of British record breakers by running at the sport’s spiritual home, the remarkable Bonneville Salt Flats. I am really looking forward to driving another British entry in the ‘300 mph Club,’ and a diesel-engined, wheel-driven one at that."
JCB is the world’s fifth largest manufacturer of construction equipment and has 17 plants on four continents: 10 in the UK, three in India and others in the USA, Brazil, China and Germany. JCB employs more than 6300 people. In 2005, JCB celebrated its 60th anniversary; the company is family run and privately-owned.
The current diesel-powered land speed record stands at 235.756 mph to Virgil W. Snyder and the Thermo King Streamliner and dates back to 25 August 1973.